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How Does Invisalign Work? A Complete Guide to the Invisalign Process

May 1st, 2023

Many parents help their children achieve a straighter smile by opting for Invisalign instead of traditional braces. Clear braces are a common choice by both parents and children because you can’t tell when the aligners are being worn. 

To straighten out your child’s teeth without choosing metal braces and wires, you can choose Invisalign. If you are curious how Invisalign works, the process is pretty straightforward. 

How Does Invisalign Work Step-by-Step?

Invisalign offers your child the same results as traditional braces, except without the metal and wires. 

Schedule a Consultation

You must schedule a consultation with your orthodontist to begin getting Invisalign for your child. At the consultation, your child’s orthodontist will examine their mouth, take x-rays, and take pictures of their teeth. 

Orthodontist Must Approve Invisalign Treatment 

Once your child’s orthodontist has given the green light to go ahead with the Invisalign treatment, they will take impressions of your child’s teeth and create a 3D image to map out the different stages of their teeth positioning. 

Get Your Aligners 

First, you get clear plastic aligners. Your child must wear them daily and remove them when they eat, brush, and floss. The aligners must be worn for 22 hours daily to help the teeth move correctly. 

You get a new set of Invisalign aligners every two weeks to improve the teeth straightening process. Their teeth will become straighter each time. 

Go to Follow-Up Appointments and Check-Ups

They must go to a checkup once every six weeks to evaluate the treatment and ensure everything is going smoothly. This process should continue for 12 to 18 months, depending on how quickly your child’s teeth straighten.

How Long Does It Take Invisalign to Work From Start to Finish?

Many parents wonder how fast does Invisalign work. Invisalign takes about 12 to 18 months on average, but treatment times can vary depending on the patient. Invisalign treatment typically helps to straighten teeth quicker than traditional braces, which take about two years or longer to straighten teeth. 

In some cases of Invisalign treatment, results can be noticeable within a few weeks after beginning the process. If your child is consistent and wears their Invisalign aligners between 20 to 22 hours daily, achieving a straighter smile should take up to 18 months. 

How Many Rounds of Invisalign is Normal?

On average, Invisalign patients require 20 to 30 sets of Invisalign aligners. If your child requires minimal teeth straightening, their orthodontist may give them between 15 and 25 Invisalign trays. Children and adults who need prominent teeth straightening are usually delivered between 40 and 50 trays. 

Each set of aligners contains a specific amount of trays that your child requires to straighten their teeth, which can differ depending on your child’s teeth.

Does the First Invisalign Tray Move Your Teeth?

The first Invisalign tray fits tightly over your child’s teeth, providing a sufficient amount of pressure on their teeth so they can move into a better position. 

Many patients notice a significant change in their teeth’s position with the first Invisalign tray, and their positioning continues to improve throughout the next few months of treatment.

Final Thoughts

This step-by-step guide should help you understand how Invisalign works, how long does Invisalign take to work, and what you must do to begin treatment. 

The first step to achieving a beautiful smile is to schedule an appointment with Bergen Orthodontics. We will take steps to evaluate and prepare your child for Invisalign treatment. Learn how Invisalign works and the complete guide to the process.

What Is the Main Purpose of Rubber Bands in Braces?

April 21st, 2023

The rubber bands on braces apply additional pressure to move your child’s teeth into the proper position. Braces consist of brackets and wires, which gently apply the appropriate amount of pressure to the teeth to help them move into the correct place.

Braces, including rubber bands, can help treat conditions that impact your child’s teeth and jaw by forcing the teeth and jaw into new positions.

The archwire provides the force needed through the brackets to help shift the teeth, and the rubber bands apply additional pressure to specific areas.

To fully understand the process of braces and correcting your child’s teeth, you likely want to know what the rubber bands on braces are for.

What Do Rubber Bands Do For Braces?

Rubber bands work with the brackets and the wires of your child’s braces to straighten their teeth and correct their bite.

Typically, rubber bands help correct an underbite or an overbite, but they can also be used to help shift the teeth into a position that the braces cannot do alone.

It is essential to understand what are rubber bands for braces and why they are important. If your child does not wear the rubber bands recommended by their orthodontist, it can cause the teeth to relapse and delay the treatment.

What Are The Five Stages of Braces?

There are five stages of braces throughout your child’s orthodontic treatment.

1. Consultation Stage

A typical consultation will last around 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the severity of the case. During this stage, your child will have impressions taken of their lower and upper teeth, and they will have an evaluation of their bite.

The orthodontist will discuss the solutions, risks, alternatives, or limitations before deciding on a treatment plan.

2. Bonding Stage

The bonding stage is when your child is fitted for braces. The brackets are placed on their teeth, and the wire is fitted. Your child will choose the color of their braces and rubber bands.

3. Regular Adjustment Stage

The regular adjustment stage consists of routine appointments every six to eight weeks to make adjustments and monitor your progress. The braces will be adjusted, and the rubber bands will be changed.

4. Debonding Stage

This stage is when the braces are removed. The brackets are taken off the teeth, and the teeth are polished. The orthodontist will take photographs of your child’s teeth.

5. Retainer Stage

The last stage is the retainer stage. This is when your child gets their retainers, and an appointment will be made to monitor their teeth further. The retainer must be adjusted and tightened to fit correctly within the mouth.

How Long Do You Wear Rubber Bands for Braces?

The amount of time your child must wear rubber bands depends on their bite and the required adjustment. To see what bands do for braces, the rubber bands must be worn as the orthodontist recommends.

They may only need to wear the rubber bands for one month, or they may need to wear them for as long as eight months. The rubber bands must be worn 24 hours a day unless the orthodontist recommends differently.

Are Rubber Bands the Last Stage of Braces?

Rubber bands are not the last stage of braces, as they can be worn at any time throughout treatment. The final braces stage is the retainer, worn to prevent the teeth from shifting again after braces.

Final Thoughts

What are rubber bands on braces for? The purpose of rubber bands on braces is to add additional pressure on the teeth to help them move into the proper position.

Now that you understand what the rubber bands on braces are for, the process of braces and rubber bands for your child should seem more straightforward. Learn More About Our Types of Braces today at Bergen Orthodontics!

8 Easy Tips for Taking Care of Your Invisalign Clear Aligners

April 21st, 2023

Invisalign aligners have become a popular way to straighten teeth and gradually move them into the correct position. With Invisalign aligners, there are no wires or brackets like traditional braces.

Aligners offer a discreet alternative to straighten teeth without worrying about the discomfort of traditional braces. Taking care of Invisalign requires your child to commit to their treatment plan so they can see results as quickly as possible.

Throughout your child’s Invisalign treatment plan, knowing these 8 easy Invisalign care tips are helpful.

1. Clean Aligners Regularly

Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is essential to avoid any stains on the aligners. You should clean the aligners regularly.

To clean them correctly, use a gentle antibacterial soap and warm water to remove bacteria or buildup from the trays. You should clean them daily to ensure they stay clear and clean.

2. Keep the Trays in a Case

When learning how to take care of Invisalign, you should encourage your child to place the aligners in a case instead of a napkin when not in use. We always tell our patients, “whenever they’re not in your face - they’re in your case!”

This is one of the essential Invisalign care tips, as using cases prevents your child from accidentally throwing away their aligners. Additionally, using a case will help protect your aligners from bacteria or potential damage.

3. Avoid Certain Drinks

Encourage your child to avoid consuming any colored or sugary drinks while wearing their Invisalign aligners.

In fact, your child should stick to drinking water when wearing their aligners. If they accidentally drink a colored or sugary drink, they should rinse out the aligners as soon as possible to avoid a buildup of bacteria and staining.

4. Floss and Brush Your Teeth

Flossing and brushing are essential - particularly when undergoing either aligner or braces orthodontic treatment.  Invisalign trays encase your child’s teeth completely, which is why they work so well - but this can also cause germs and bacteria to become trapped in their gumline and teeth.

When wearing the Invisalign aligners, your child’s saliva won’t be able to rinse away the bacteria and germs as readily, which is why even with aligners - brushing and flossing are essential after each meal.

5. Remove Trays Before Eating

Your child must remove their trays before eating every time they eat. If the trays aren’t removed, the food and drinks they consume will stain their aligners. In addition, eating with the aligners can cause plaque buildup, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

While the aligners may seem strong enough to handle it, they are not designed to undergo chewing pressure.  Chewing while wearing their aligners can damage them and disrupt their treatment timeline.

6. Don’t Ignore Rough Edges or Cracks

While this is not typical, Invisalign trays can develop cracks or rough edges after wearing them for a long time. Following Invisalign care instructions properly can prevent this from happening.

Rough edges or cracks can form if your child eats with their aligners in, wear them for longer than the recommended interval, or if they continuously take them in and out. If you or your child notice cracks or rough edges, inform your orthodontist immediately because it can affect treatment and comfort.

7. Follow a Schedule

With traditional braces, you must see your orthodontist regularly for adjustments. However, when wearing Invisalign, your child will be given a series of trays that they must change independently every one to two weeks.

Another important Invisalign care tip is to encourage your child to follow a schedule so they remember to switch out a tray. Following a schedule is essential to ensure your child stays on track with their Invisalign progress.

8. Go to Your Checkups

While using Invisalign, your child will not need to worry about getting their braces adjusted every few weeks. Instead, they must change out their trays on their own.

While they do not need to go for checkups nearly as often as those with traditional braces, you should still be sure to take your child to their occasional checkups.

Going to checkups when necessary is the best thing you can do to ensure your child’s treatment is on track and working well.

Final Thoughts

These Invisalign care tips can help you, and your child learn how to care for their teeth and aligners throughout the treatment properly.

As your child wears each set of aligners, it is essential to follow Invisalign care tips, such as removing the aligners before eating and placing them in a case when they are not in use. Learn how to take care of your Invisalign today at Bergen Orthodontics.


April 20th, 2023

Getting braces is a rite of passage for most children and teens (and even adults) in America, but there are a lot of questions that come with getting braces on: How do you brush your teeth with braces on? Better yet, how do you floss? Do braces hurt when they’re on? There may seem to be many unknowns when diving into the world of braces, but don’t fret: all these questions have answers and we are here to help you navigate them! 

In this article, we’re going to explain why you need to brush and floss with your braces, the importance of good oral hygiene, and simple steps you can take to ensure your oral health is as good as it possibly can be. 

The point of braces is to have a healthy mouth—don’t mess it up by getting cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease! Upkeeping proper oral hygiene is of the utmost importance, especially when wearing braces. 

Brushing your teeth with braces

Firstly, everyone should brush their teeth at least three times a day, but when you have braces, keeping good oral hygiene is even more vital to have healthy teeth and prevent bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Patients with braces are encouraged to brush 3 times a day, after every meal.

Sometimes that is hard to do, especially at school or work so even just rinsing after lunch is a good stopgap until getting back to your toothbrush.  Using mouthwash is encouraged especially while in braces too! Using an American Dental Association approved fluoride mouth rinse in the morning and at night before bed will help your teeth and gums thrive. 

Arguably the most important thing to do to maintain good oral health and keep your braces nice and clean is brushing with an electric toothbrush.; Oral B is a great example of a reputable brand with models for kids and adults alike! 

Getting kids used to an electric toothbrush when they’re young will help instill good oral hygiene habits early on. Using a fluoride toothpaste is a great way to keep up with good oral health.

How to Floss with Braces

Flossing is also crucial for keeping debris and cavity causing plaque out of hard to reach places between teeth. The idea of flossing with braces may seem daunting, but using a Water Pik, floss threader, Platypus Flosser, or Superfloss can make it very easy to get in between the teeth and around wires of the braces.

If you don’t have a Water Pik to use, flossing with braces is perfectly fine! A floss threader is a tool used to help get floss in between hard to reach places, such as between teeth with braces on them. You can use the floss with your own fingers as well and just pull the floss under the wires between the teeth and floss away! If you are out and about and find yourself without floss, rinsing your mouth with water is helpful enough until you can get home and clean those spots properly. 

One of the most pressing concerns that comes with having braces is what to do if/when a brace breaks. A bracket may come loose, or the wire could pop out of the bracket if something excessively hard or crunch is eaten - for example (see our blog post Eating with Braces: Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat for a more in-depth list). 

Braces don’t break just from brushing your teeth, but always call the orthodontist should a break happen or you start feeling pain from a poking wire. When a wire is poking, the orthodontist will routinely trim or bend the end for comfort.  Sometimes early on in treatment when more flexible wires are used, the end of the wire gets curled in behind the last tooth to prevent it from poking the inside of the mouth. 

Broken brackets take a bit more time than just a poking wire. When a bracket is broken or feels loose on the wire, definitely always call the orthodontists to see what to do. Repairing brackets is a longer process because you have to open all of the brackets on the arch (the top or bottom of the mouth), and remove the entire wire. Then you remove the broken bracket, clean and polish the tooth, and glue a new bracket back on. The wire then goes back into place and the doors of the brackets are all closed up!  

Getting braces doesn’t have to be as intimidating as some make it out to be. It is a big responsibility to keep braces nice and clean, but luckily now there are a lot of different ways to help patients keep their teeth, mouths and braces in tip top shape! 

jersey choice dentist
Russell M. Sandman DMD, MS Osnat Kuyunov DDS Associate Doctor Michele Kaplan DDS Associate Doctor
500 Piermont Rd
Closter, NJ 07624
(201) 768-4121